Duterte seeks help in fight vs drugs, corruption, crime

‘I can’t do it alone’


The country has been liberated from foreign domination more than a century ago but continues to face “enemies that attack from within” at present, President Duterte said Tuesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte leads the flag raising ceremony during the 120th celebration of Philippine independence at Kawit Cavite. Photo by Jansen Romero

In leading the 120th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite, the President said he has made his “personal mission” to eliminate the lingering challenges such as corruption, poverty, and crime in the country.

“The story of how our forebears fought for our sovereignty and established a Filipino nation shall forever inspire us to cherish the freedoms that we enjoy all of us today. Sadly, more than a century since our heroes liberated is from foreign subjugation, our nation still has to face enemies that attack from within,” the President said in his remarks.

“This, time, we face the modern challenges of poverty, corruption, environmental degradation, terrorism, criminality and illegal drugs,” he said.

Duterte affirmed that he would do his best to preserve and protect the nation but would need public cooperation.

“I have made it my personal mission to rid our nation of these ills, but I cannot do it alone,” he said.

“At this crucial juncture in our history, we need to draw strength from the lessons of our past to ensure that these ills do not cause any more damage to our future,” he added.

Duterte said he was determined to sustain the campaign against corruption, citing that he would continue to fire officials involved in abuses.

“I have a few more years and I will do my best especially in the matter of graft and corruption. I have fired so many and will continue to fire everybody,” he said.

Duterte also reaffirmed his strong resolve to destroy those involved the illegal drug trade despite criticisms of alleged human rights abuses.

He said as a former state prosecutor, he has seen many lives destroyed “in the name of the altar of greed.”

“Drugs – it has become a very serious problem even for other countries. Drugs will destroy my country. Do not do it because I will destroy you. Literally,” he said.

The President also could not care less if he gets impeached or killed for his anti-drug efforts. “Impeach mo na ako, impeach o patayin mo na ako, okay lang. Basta hindi ako papayag nang ganun,” he said.

The President, meantime, acknowledged that he could not promise “economic miracles” for Filipinos but could only try to make their lives comfortable.

“I just want the Filipino during my time comfortable. I’m not expecting any economic miracles. Impossible. I will be humble enough to admit that I can only do so much,” he said.